ProVIS. Foto: André Künzelmann/UFZ

Technology Platforms

As an international competence centre for environmental sciences, the UFZ owns several innovative research facilities in the fields of

  • Microscopy for biology and material science, 
  • 3D-visualisation of data and numeric simulations
  • Isotope analytics,
  • Bioreactor systems,
  • Mass spectroscopy in metobolomics and proteomics, 
  • Technologies for high-resolution exploration of subsurface structures, integrated earth observation and a ground-truth-data-based interpretation of satellite data,
  • Equipment for surface water analysis,

Our technology platforms offer vital links to science and industry. Moreover, they are starting points for future research projects.

For further information, please contact the experts at our centre.


Eddy-Tower / Photo: A. Künzelmann, UFZ ACROSS (Advanced Remote Sensing - Ground Truth Demo and Test Facilities)

ACROSS provides field data across different spatial and temporal scales and environmental compartments in order to enhance the interpretation of satellite data for environmental science. The UFZ partly coordinates the ACROSS infrastructure and contributes to the terrestrial platform by investigating hydrogeophysical and ecological parameters like soil moisture, temperature, carbon and water fluxes by using, for example, mobile cosmic ray neutron probes, Eddy-Covariance stations and LiDAR technologies.


Services:

  • Access to databases on ground-truth data for environmental variables
  • Information on measurement projects, accessible data and international cooperation

Contact: 

Dr. Steffen Zacharias

Department of Monitoring and Exploration Technologies

Phone +49 341 235-1381
steffen.zacharias@ufz.de


Prof. Dr. Andreas Huth

Department of Ecological Modelling

Phone +49 341 235-1719
andreas.huth@ufz.de

Laser scanning microscope / Photo: UFZ Microorganisms at interfaces form so-called biofilms which play a key role in a variety of processes, e.g., during the conversion of organic compounds, sorption or the decomposition and transport of contaminants. While microorganisms are systematically applied in biotechnological processes like wastewater treatment, their action in biofouling or the human body may also result in undesirable effects on product quality or health. The technology platform “Biofilm” comprises several laser scanning microscopes, which allow a thorough investigation of structural and functional properties of biofilms and, therefore, contribute to a better understanding of the processes occurring in biofilms.


Services:

  • Analysis on contract basis: structure and composition of bio-aggregate, biofilm and biofouling samples
  • Lectin-binding anylysis of the biofilm matrix
  • Scientific cooperations in the field of interfacial microbiology and laser scanning microscopy
  • Equipment: confocal and 2-photon laser scanning microscopy, fluorescence lifetime Imaging microscopy (FLIM), fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS), localization nanoscopy (GSD), fluorescence stereo microscopy, software for digital image analysis (visualization, quantification, deconvolution)
  • Training courses in theory and practice of laser microscopy

Contact: 

Dr. Thomas R. Neu

Department of River Ecology

Phone +49 391 810-9800
thomas.neu@ufz.de

Bioreactor Pilot Plant / Photo: UFZ The bioreactor pilot plant possesses modern bioreactor technology for the cultivation of different microorganisms like bacteria, yeast and fungi. It offers multi and laboratory bioreactor systems from 0,5 to 2 litres as well as a set of geometrically similar reactors for a scaling up with working volumes ranging between 5 and 400 litres. The facility is completed by devices for analytics along the bioprocess and cell separation and thus, enables an integral approach for the investigation, development and optimization of bioprocesses.


Services:

  • Research and development of bioprocesses and biotechnology
  • Fermentations on contract
  • Training courses

Contact: 

Steffi Hunger

Centre for Environmental Biotechnology

Phone +49 341 235-1850/1587
steffi.hunger@ufz.de

Laboratory of Stable Isotopes / Photo: UFZ Laboratory of Stable Isotopes (LSI)

The Laboratory of Stable Isotopes has know-how in the analytics of light element stable isotopes (HCNOS and Cl) for more than 25 years. It offers the most modern laboratory equipment, holds several methodological patents which are licensed and acts as reference laboratory for the IAEA. Core competences are online component specific analyses (GC, TCEA, HPCL), the development of methods for isotope analysis for gaseous, solid and liquid samples, quality control and management as well as the development and calibration of international reference materials. The experience at LSI is applied in a large variety of process studies and reflected in numerous publications.


Services:

  • Analytics on contract, forensic studies, consultancy
  • Component specific analysis of environmental samples
  • Consultancy in breadboarding
  • Training courses

Contact: 

Dr. Matthias Gehre

Department of Isotope Biogeochemistry

Phone +49 341 235-1361
matthias.gehre@ufz.de

Direct Push / Photo: A. Künzelmann, UFZ MOSAIC (Model Driven Site Assessment, Information and Control)

MOSAIC is a platform for the model-based, high-resolution exploration of complex subsurface structures by applying and combining minimally invasive methods. Therefore, MOSAIC allows the investigation of large scale field sites with complex geology. The platform combines various methods such as direct push technologies, on-site analytical methods, geophysical, tomographic, as well as hydrogeological techniques. A further innovative approach is the adaptive site investigation, which allows an optimized exploration process quality and time due to the dynamic use of suitable methods within the MOSAIC platform.


Services:

  • Research and development of innovative monitoring and exploration technologies as well as their practical establishment due to projects and cooperation projects with industry partners, universities and other research institutions
  • Technology transfer (training courses for technical authorities and engineering consultants, workshops and pilot studies)

Contact: 

Dr. Ulrike Werban

Department of Monitoring and Exploration Technologies

Phone +49 341 235-1989
ulrike.werban@ufz.de

mass spectroscop / Photo: UFZ Prometheus- Platform for metabolomics analysis

The Prometheus platform offers most modern mass spectroscopy (GC and LS/MS) for profiling, identification and quantification of exogenic and endogenic metabolites in epidemiological studies and cellular models. The metabolites are extracted and measured from different biological matrices (e.g. serum, urine, adipose tissue as well as eukaryotic and prokaryotic cultures). Data analysis by means of well-established analysis routines allows detecting alterations of amino acids, biogenic amines and lipids in the entire metabolism.


Services:

  • Targeted serum profiling (183 metabolites) with absolute quantification
  • Untargeted serum profiling with relative quantification (ca. 27.000 peaks)
  • Intracellular central metabolites of the carbon and nitrogen metabolism
  • Detection of specific metabolites, e.g., prostaglandins or CoA esters

Contact: 

Dr. Ulrike Rolle-Kampczyk

Department of Molecular Systems Biology

Phone +49 341 235-1537
ulrike.rolle-kampczyk@ufz.de

mass spectroscop  / Photo: UFZ Prometheus- Platform for proteomic analysis

Prometheus offers targeted and non-targeted proteomic analysis in simple (gel bands, affinity enriched) and complex samples (extracts from cell culture, tissue, body fluids, microbial consortia) by using the broad expertise of the Department of Molecular Systems Biology and state of the art equipment. For quantification the techniques of SILAC (stable isotope labeling of amino acids in cell cultures), label free, TMT (tandem mass tag) and SRM (selected reaction monitoring) are established. For microbial ecology we developed the Protein-SIP (stable isotope probing) approach as well as bioinformatics tools which are applied to protein-protein-interaction studies and phosphoproteomics. Proteome data analysis is performed routinely by Ingenuity Pathway Analysis.


Services:

  • Proteomic Analysis (SILAC, metabolic Labeling 15N, LFQ, TMT) allowing an absolute quantification
  • Quantitative determination of posttranslational modifications (Phosphorylation, Acetylation)
  • Protein-protein interaction
  • MS based protein structure analysis (H/D exchange)
  • Atomic flux in microbial communities (Protein-SIP; 13C, 15N, 34736S)
  • Targeted Proteomics (SRM, PIR)

Contact: 

Prof. Dr. Martin von Bergen

Department of Molecular Systems Biology

Phone +49 341 235-1211
martin.vonbergen@ufz.de

ProVIS / Photo: UFZ ProVIS – Platform for visualization of biochemical processes at the cellular level

The technology platform ProVIS is funded by the Helmholtz Association and the European Regional Development Fund. It provides a unique pool of scientific equipment combining imaging techniques with methods for chemical analysis to study biological samples, structures and surfaces on a nanometer scale. The techniques comprise high resolution atomic force, electron and ion microscopy as well as several mass spectrometry methods which are used to answer questions from fundamental research to applied science. Main research focus at the UFZ is the investigation of structural and functional properties and regulatory processes of environmentally relevant microorganisms. These play, for example, an important role in biodegradation of chemicals and biotransformation of metals and, therefore, contribute to a better understanding of our ecosystem


Services:

  • Cooperation projects with universities, non-university research institutions and industry, development of new methods
  • Possible applications: single cells, viruses and bacteriophages, biofilms and aggregates, tissue slices, nanoparticles, material science (surface analysis), renewable resources and corrosion
  • Equipment: Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (NanoSIMS; ToFSIMS), multi-collector Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS), Laser Ablation Mass Spectrometry coupled to ICP-MS (LA‐ICP‐MS), Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance Mass
  • Spectrometry (FT‐ICR‐MS with MALDI imaging option), Confocal Raman spectroscopy (CRM) coupled with Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), Helium Ion and Electron Microscopy (HIM/EM), and instruments for protein analysis (nLC-MS/MS - Orbitrap Fusion and MALD-ToF), devices for sample preparation
  • Training and specialized courses for scientists

Contact: 

Prof. Dr. Hans H. Richnow

Department of Isotope Biogeochemistry

Phone +49 341 235-1212
hans.richnow@ufz.de


Dr. Niculina Musat

Department of Isotope Biogeochemistry

Phone +49 341 235-4656
niculina.musat@ufz.de

Visualisation Centre / Photo: A. Künzelmann, UFZ The Visualisation Centre provides a platform for scientists from various fields to explore and analyse complex and spatially heterogeneous data sets. It uses an interactive large-area stereo projection screen which allows immersing oneself in the projected environmental data and, thereby, acquiring new insights in scientific questions and problems. Furthermore, the platform offers opportunities for knowledge transfer among researchers on the one side and knowledge communication to interested citizens on the other side.


Services:

  • Access to technical equipment for the visualisation (incl. mobile)
  • Consultancy regarding possible visualisation method
  • Training courses

Contact: 

Lars Bilke

Department of Environmental Informatics

Phone +49 341 235-1881
lars.bilke@ufz.de